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OVERRATED, UNDERRATED

Lala.com, zombies, cougars and 'Eastbound & Down'

October 11, 2009

UNDERRATED

Lala.com: Lost amid the concerns about MP3 file-sharing was one of its root causes: Music fans wanting to try an album before they buy. Record stores addressed this with listening stations and consider Lala an online listening station for a new era. Log in and you can sample about 7 million songs for one free listen without spending a penny. It's like window-shopping with your ears -- what a time to be alive.

Zombies: Finally, after wasting time with onscreen villains such as Nazis, terrorists and vampires, Hollywood has returned to a common enemy we can all get behind: the walking dead. Between the 2004 classic "Sean of the Dead" and the gleefully absurd book "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies," it's little wonder the tongue-in-cheek carnage of "Zombieland" is a hit. Who can resist a comedy with braaains?

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OVERRATED

Cougars: We shrugged off this slang for older women on the prowl when it first entered the lexicon, but now we humbly ask that it retire to some linguistic frat party in the sky. Though the term is mainstream enough to title a network comedy, we're weary of its misogynistic undercurrent. Until skirt-chasing older men in convertibles get a "Wild Kingdom"-ready nickname, we're out of the big-cat business.

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Monday, October 12, 2009 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 4 National Desk 1 inches; 28 words Type of Material: Correction
Zombies film: The Overrated/Underrated column in Sunday's Calendar section referred to a 2004 zombies film as "Sean of the Dead." The correct spelling is "Shaun of the Dead."
For The Record
Los Angeles Times Sunday, October 18, 2009 Home Edition Sunday Calendar Part D Page 2 Calendar Desk 1 inches; 26 words Type of Material: Correction
Zombies film: The Overrated/Underrated column last Sunday referred to a 2004 zombies film as "Sean of the Dead." Its correct spelling is "Shaun of the Dead."

'Eastbound & Down': We'd heard good things about this HBO comedy starring Danny McBride as a mullet-bearing ex-major leaguer, but midway through the first season we were quickly left cold. We realize that in writer-director Jody Hill's world, liking a character is far from a requirement, but it may be for us. Filling a screen with unpleasantness and self-absorption isn't exactly escapist entertainment these days.

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